The Spiritist Review - Journal of Psychological Studies - 1860

Allan Kardec

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Friday, December 30th, 1859
(Private Session)

Minutes of the December 23rd session were read.

The Society decides that in every private session, following the reading of the minutes, the list containing the names of participants of the preceding general session will be read, with an indication of the regular members who have introduced them, and that an exhortation shall be made to point out the inconveniences caused by persons strange to the Society. Hence the list with the names of the attendees of the previous session was read.

These are the newly admitted regular members, as from written request and verbal report:

1st – Mr. Forbes from London, Engineer officer, who was introduced on December 16th.

2nd – Mrs. Forbes, born Countess Passerini Corretesi, from Florence, introduced on December 16th *

3 rd – Mr. Soive, a businessman from Paris, introduced on December 23rd. ** 4th – Mr. Demange, a businessman from Paris, introduced on December 23rd. Reading of three new letters requesting admission. Report and decision adjourned to January 6th.


1st – Letter from Mr. Brion Dorgeval, with the answer sent to Mr. Oscar Comettant, regarding an article from the latter published in the Siècle (see January issue of the Review).

2nd – Letter received from Mr. Jobard, from Brussels, with fair observations about the moral state of the spirits. He regrets the fact that the adepts of Spiritism are generally designated by their initials. He believes that more explicit indications would contribute to the progress of the Science. As a consequence he invites all adepts to sign their names, as he does himself (see the January issue).

This last observation from Mr. Jobard is strongly endorsed by a large number of members, who authorize to mention their names in all references related to them.

Mr. Allan Kardec states that the fear for what is going to be said diminishes daily and that there are only a few people these days that would be afraid of confessing their opinion about Spiritism. The bad taste epithets given to them become ridiculous common place, laughed at when so many people from the elites associate their names to the Doctrine, and one can already foresee the time when the force of opinion will impose silence to sarcasm. However, it is one thing to have the courage of opinion in conversations and another thing is to cast their names publicly. Among the persons who sustain the cause of Spiritism with more energy there are many who don’t like to have their names in evidence, for that very reason, rather than anything else. Such scruples, which don’t imply lack of courage, must be respected. When extraordinary facts take place anywhere it is understandable that it would not be very pleasant to the persons involved to become a target of public curiosity and bothered by the unwelcome. We should undoubtedly be grateful to those who are above such prejudices but we should not lightheartedly censor those who have very legitimate reasons not to expose themselves.


1st – Questions addressed to St. Louis about the spirits who preside over the flowers, regarding the communication received by Mrs. B… An interesting explanation will be published on the subject.

2nd – Other questions were framed about the spirit of the animals.

3rd – Two spontaneous and simultaneous communications: the first one by the Spirit of Truth, through Mr. Roze, with some advices to the Society; the second, by Fénelon, through Ms. Huet.

Friday, January 6th, 1860
(Private Session)

Minutes of the December 30th session were read. The following were admitted as regular members after written requests and verbal report:

1st – Mr. Ducastel, a property owner from Abbéville, introduced on December 30th.
2nd – Mrs. Deslandes, from Paris, introduced on December 30th. 3rd – Mrs. Rakowska, from Paris, introduced on December 30th. A request for admission was read. Letter received from Mr. Poinsignon, from Paris, congratulating the Society over the New Year’s celebration, and wishing it well for the propagation of Spiritism. A letter recently received from Mr. Demange, thanking for his admission. He ensures the Society about his active cooperation. Analysis of several issues related to the administrative business of the Society.


1st – News received about D. Péra, a prior from Armilly who died 30 years ago. A study shall be carried out about that.

2nd – Letter from Mr. Lussiez, from Troyes, with judicious reflections about the moralizing influence of Spiritism over the working classes.

3rd – Letter received from Mrs. P…, from Rouen, informing to have received remarkable communications, as a medium, in total agreement with The Spirits’ Book. Besides, the letter contains reflections which indicate a very healthy appreciation of the spiritist ideas from the part of the author.

4th – Letter received regarding Ms. Désirée Godu, a healing medium from Hennebon. It is a known fact that Ms. Godu’s work is that of devotion and pure philanthropy.


1st – Several questions addressed to St. Louis for clarification and development of earlier communications.

2nd – Ms. Dubois, medium and regular member of the Society, having received a communication from a spirit who calls himself Chateaubriand, requests clarification. Another spirit communicates with that very name, refusing identification in the name of God. Confesses his fraud, apologizes and gives curious information about his life. Then, the true Chateaubriand gives a brief and spontaneous communication, promising a more elaborated one in due course.

Friday, January 13th, 1860
(General Session)

Reading of the minutes from the January 6th, session.

Reading of three new requests for membership. Analysis and report adjourned to the January 20th session.


1st – Letter from Mr. Maurice, from Tell, Ardèche, reporting extraordinary facts which took place in a house in Fons, near Aubenas, and that somehow resemble those which happened in Java.

2nd – Letter from Mr. Albert Ferdinand, from Beziers, reporting three remarkable personal facts which demonstrate the physical action that the spirits may exert upon certain mediums.

3rd – Letter from Mr. Crozet, from Havre, a corresponding member of the Society, informing about a communication received jointly with Mr. Sprenger, from a mockery spirit. That spirit, a Navy captain deceased six months prior, explains with remarkable accuracy and lucidity the tricks of the “besigue” card game, indicating how the players may win or lose (to be published).

4th – The spirit of a dancer. Mr. and Mrs. Netz, members of the Society, since some time now receive communications from a spirit that shows up dancing constantly, that is, making a table dance, following the perfectly recognizable rhythm of a polka, a mazurka, a square dance, a waltz in two or three tempos, etc. He never wanted to write, only responding through raps. He even said through such a means that he was Peruvian, native Indian, deceased 56 years ago at the age of 35; that really enjoyed drinking “spirits” when alive, and who now attends public balls where he has a lot of fun. He never comes to communicate before 10 pm and only on certain days. He says that he communicates through Mrs. Netz but he cannot do it without the support of Mr. D…, a medium of physical effects, thus he needs both present at the same time. Therefore, Mr. D… had never attracted him to his house and Mrs. Netz cannot do it if she is alone.

5th – Reading of a spontaneous communication sent by Mr. Rabache, from Bordeaux, in continuation of those published under the title “Family advices”.

6th – Mrs. Forbes reads three spontaneous communications received by her husband about filial love, paternal love and patience. Those communications, remarkable by their high morality and simplicity of language, may be classified in the category of intimate advices.


1st – The spirit from Castelnaudary was evoked, who had already been evoked on December 9th. See the complete report under the title “Story of a naughty spirit”.

2nd – Evocation of the dancer spirit. He does not wish to write but raps the rhythm of several rhythms with the pencil, agitating the medium’s arm in synchronism. St. Louis gives some explanations about his character and confirms the preceding information.

3rd – Questions about the manifestations of Fons, near Aubenas. The answer is that there is something truthful about the facts, but they should not be accepted unconditionally and that we should prevent against exaggeration above all.

4th – Evocation of D. Péra, prior of Armilly. He provides important details about his situation and character.

5th – Two spontaneous communications: the first through Mr. Roze, from a spirit named Estelle Riquier who had led an unworthy life, failed her duties as a mother and wife; the second through Mr. Forbes, containing advices about rage.

Friday, January 20th, 1860
(Private Session)

Reading of the minutes of the January 13th session.

Following the written request and verbal reports, the following persons are admitted as regular members:

1st – Mr. Kratzoff, from Saint Petersburg, introduced on January 13th.

2nd – Mr. Julien, from Belfort, High-Rhine, introduced on January 13th.

3rd – Mr. Count Alexander Stenbock Fermor, from Saint Petersburg, introduced on January 6th.


1st – Reading of a spontaneous communication received by Mr. Pécheur, member of the Society.

2nd – New details about the dancer spirit. Mrs. Netz, writing medium, having questioned another spirit, received more information, among them the fact that he was very rich when alive; that he died in a hunting accident, when completely alone. Having questioned the dancer spirit about these facts and with the support of the other medium, she obtained identical answers through knocks. Behold, Mrs. Netz had not communicated the first written answers to the other medium. On another hand, she is not the one operating as a medium now. Besides, she had formulated the questions insidiously, possibly leading to adverse answers. Hence there was independence of thoughts from one side to the other, and the agreement of the answers is a characteristic fact. Another equally curious fact is that the dancer’s favorite medium one day was taken by involuntary movements in the streets, making him walk rhythmically. If he wanted to resist he could stop those movements but as long as he let go, his legs would follow the flair of a dancer. It was nothing much ostensive, sufficient to call other people’s attention. This leads to the understanding that spirits of different orders and not so much well meaning, like the spirit that just wanted to have fun, could produce more violent movements over certain human bodies, similar to those seen in the convulsive and jerky persons.

3rd – Report of a spontaneous communication from the spirit of a living person, made by Mr. G…, a writing medium, given to him personally. The spirit described circumstantial details completely ignored by the medium, whose accuracy was verified. Mr. G… did not know that person, having seen him only once during a visitation and never again. He only knew his family name. Well, the spirit also signed his name, perfectly correct. Such circumstance, added to other indications of time and place given by the spirit, constitute evidence of identity. Mr. Count de R… comments that such kind of communications may sometimes entail some indiscretion, asking if the person involved would be happy if aware of the conversation.

The following answers were given:

1 – If the communicating person came in spirit it was out of their own will, considering that Mr. G… was not thinking of him and did not call him;

2 – Once detached from the body the spirit has free-will, only responding to what they wish to;

3 – In such a state the spirit is more sensible than in the waking state, since the spirit sees the reach of things in a broader way.

If that spirit had seen any inconvenience in his words he would not have said that;

4th – Reading of a communication from Lyon, addressed to the Society, saying among other things:

“The transformation of humanity is prepared by the incarnation of better spirits on Earth, those who will form a new generation, dominated by the love of good; that the wicked people who keep their eyes closed to the light will reincarnate with a new phalanx of simple and ignorant spirits, sent by God to the works of formation of a new world, inferior to planet Earth. They will not be able to meet their brothers and sisters from Earth but only after hard work through which they will then reach their level, after this generation is passed, because the bad spirits will not have the right to witness such beautiful transformation.”

Mr. Theubet observes that the communication apparently blesses the principle of a backwards march, contrary to everything that has been taught.

A long and profound discussion is then established. It can be summarized as follows: The spirit may fall from the current position but not with respect to the acquired knowledge and virtues. The principle of non-retrogress must be understood from the moral and intellectual standpoint, that is, the spirit cannot lose what has already been acquired in intelligence and morality and would not return to the state of spiritual infancy. In other words, the spirit cannot become more ignorant or worse than before, fact that does not preclude the spirit from incarnating in a tougher and inferior position and among more ignorant spirits, if deserved. A very inferior spirit who would reincarnate among a civilized people would be out of place and would not be able to keep up with his class. Returning to the savage in a new existence such a spirit would only be recovering his own position, which could have been left a bit too early, but the ideas acquired during his passage among the enlightened people would not be lost. The same must happen to those individuals who are going to support the formation of a new world. Finding out of place in a better Earth they shall then move to a world compatible with their moral state.


1st – A black person from the ship Constant is evoked; he had already been evoked on September 30th, 1859. He gives new explanations about the circumstances that followed his death.

2nd – Three spontaneous communications: the first from Chateaubriand, through Mr. Roze; the second from Plato, through Mr. Colin; the third from Charlet, through Mr. Didier junior, in continuation of his work about the nature of the animals.

* The original shows December 23rd as the introduction date but the correct date is December 16th, according to the respective minutes (see the January 1860 issue) – (NT).

** The original shows December 16th as the introduction date but the correct is December 23rd, according to the respective minutes (see the January 1860 issue) – (NT).

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